NORTHAMPTON — How does Cooley Dickinson Health Care identify the healthcare needs of the community it serves and support programs that advance the health of local residents? Determining those priorities is done through a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which Cooley Dickinson conducts every three years. Cooley Dickinson’s CHNA report and implementation plan is now available.
The 2019 CHNA focuses on the areas of social and economic determinants that impact health, barriers to accessing quality healthcare, health conditions and behaviors, and underserved and vulnerable populations.
Within these categories, improving food systems and addressing the needs of specific populations such as older adults were identified as priorities. Cooley Dickinson will focus on these areas and others as it implements its plans in 2020 and going forward.
The health assessment represents several months of looking at data and talking to local residents about the meaning behind the data.
“We held community forums and conducted interviews to help develop a more complete picture of health,” said Jeff Harness, Cooley Dickinson’s director of Community Health and Government Relations. “Many agencies in the area use our report for planning and grant writing. We use it ourselves to guide decision making around community grants and developing programs.”
For example, the CHNA surfaced a need to help older adults who are socially isolated. “There are many programs in the area that serve older adults, and we are looking forward to partnering with them,” said Harness, who, in his role, coordinates the CHNA process and oversees Cooley Dickinson’s implementation plan.
To view the 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment and the Cooley Dickinson Community Health Improvement Plan, click here.